I first noticed illustration when I discovered Chris Riddell. He illustrated a series of books by Philip Ridley in the 1990’s which included Dakota of the White Flats, Kasper in the Glitter and Scribbleboy. I collected all of them and they became sacred texts. I was obsessed in the way that only children can be. I was fiercely protective and secretive about my interest – again in that childish way. The hangover of this powerful dedication lead me to be almost disappointed when he became Children’s Laureate. A kind of resigned, okay, that’s great, and he’s receiving the recognition that he’s tirelessly worked for and deserves – but they don’t love his work like I love it.
I later fetishized the golden age illustration that Riddell is partially in debt to (he is, of course, as original as he is referential). Work like that of Aubrey Beardsley, Harry Clarke, Sidney Sime, Andrew Lang, Heinrich Vogeler, W. Heath Robinson… (to exhaust the list of loves would devour the internet, so I’ll keep the list microscopic). I researched how they could possibly draw lines so fine. The ink. The paper. The history, study and origin, and I practiced.
Sometimes I consider my work in ink as straight fan art, almost like a love letter to the genius artists that I can’t get over. Here are a few examples of mine in ink which are, I guess bohemian, pretty gothic, aiming always for androgyny and with a foot in the 1920’s.
I also work digitally, in watercolour, and pencil. And I sometimes write. You can find more of my work, and Chris Riddell’s, using the buttons below.